Sunday, February 05, 2006

Babe Ruth Visits Blog

The ghost of Babe Ruth is haunting this blog. He refuses to let me delete the picture of his Monument Park memorial, which I took during our Yankee Stadium field trip. I've tried to delete the picture no less than three times from my Gem of the South Bronx post. Each time, I delete the picture, republish the post, and republish my entire blog. The picture goes away at first, only to stubbornly and mysteriously reappear a few hours later. Sure, it could be a bizarre Blogger glitch, but this all began happening before yesterday's Blogger breakdown. Nothing remotely like this has ever happened with any of my other posts, and I am constantly editing and deleting things from my posts.

I prefer to think that Babe is watching over my students and me in the South Bronx. Now that he's not busy cursing the Red Sox anymore, he has plenty of time to hang out with us. On our Yankee Stadium field trip, a few of my students had the adorably off-base thought that the players were actually buried at Monument Park. It does kind of resemble a graveyard, but no, the Yankee veterans are not buried there. Somehow, though, the memorial does invoke Babe Ruth's spirit. Babe? Are you out there?

I've always felt that I have an other-worldly connection to baseball. I feel truly in my element in three places - beaches, deserts and baseball stadiums. Last season, I predicted that Jermaine Dye would win the world series. Guess who drove in the winning run and was the 2005 World Series MVP? Once, when I was interviewing fans at the Oakland Coliseum about their baseball superstitions for a Cal radio story (this was during the A's 20-game win streak), Jermaine Dye hit two homeruns - one right at the first fan I interviewed (about his lucky transitor radio), and another one two innings later right at another fan I was interviewing. Both men caught (or scrambled for) the homerun balls. I got it all on tape, and it made for a great radio story.

My dad used to go to Yankee Stadium in the 1940's when he was a kid growing up in the South Bronx, and he took me to Dodger Stadium all the time when I was growing up in L.A. He told me that if I didn't eat my entire Dodgerdog, I would bring the Dodgers bad luck. Once, I didn't finish the Dodgerdog, Fernando Valenzuela broke his winning streak, and I was thus inducted into the world of superstitious baseball nuts.

It's great to be able to share this passion for baseball with my students, especially through the sports journalism unit. The one (and sadly only) stellar thing about our school is its baseball team. I have one special ed student who is a pitcher on the team, and he is by far my most disciplined student.

When I was interviewing for teaching jobs, I got two job offers on the same day, and I couldn't decide which one to take. I finally decided to go with the school with the good baseball team. There are plenty of days when I regret that decision (I have a classmate who teaches at the other school, and from what I hear, it's far better), but I do at least get to share my love of baseball with my students, and this sports journalism unit is turning out great so far.

Next week, I'll be teaching a baseball math lesson on rate, distance and time in my resource class. We'll be taking the lesson to the baseball field. Perhaps Babe will join us.

Eleven days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Super Bowl? What Super Bowl?


Blogger Fred said...

I'm watching the game now on my PC while commenting on your post. How nerdy is that?

"Build it and he will come." Sound familiar? He likes your blog.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Miss Dennis said...

"If you build it he will come." Oooooh. Never thought that could apply to a blog.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

This posting reminded me of "Full House" by Gould. I used it the other day to show a student that there were things he could read that weren't badly written. Then I showed him "The Mismeasure of Man" which he asked to take home. Reading it is like petting a cat.

Thinking about "Full House" and those left behind is kind of scary. Will society ever have the will to grant them the humanity they deserve?

9:03 PM  

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